Professor Peter J. Wilde, Ph.D., Research Leader, Quadram Institute
Peter Wilde graduated with a degree in Biophysics from the University of East Anglia in 1985, and began his research career at the Institute of Food Research in the same year, working on the dielectric spectroscopy of protein systems. Since then, his main research interest has been relating to the interfacial properties of surface-active food components with functional properties of foods. His initial research was to determine how molecular structure and properties influence interfacial behaviour, which in turn controls bulk functional behaviour (i.e. foam and emulsion stability). His main interest was to understand how proteins adsorb at interfaces, how they interact with surfactants and emulsifiers, what structural changes take place and how this affects interfacial tension, interfacial rheology, adsorbed layer dynamics and subsequent foam and emulsion properties.
His research focus has gradually changed over the years, and now the primary aims of his research are to understand how the microstructure of food changes during digestion and the impact of this on health. He is interested in how the molecular and interfacial properties influence the fundamental mechanisms that control the texture breakdown and digestion of food emulsion systems in order to develop strategies for improving the nutritional impact of dietary fats. This includes investigating the key interfacial and colloidal mechanisms underpinning the digestion and absorption of dietary fat, and how this may impact on physiological responses such as satiety, serum lipids and cholesterol.
He also has a broader interest in how the different length scales of structure in food influence the way it is digested. He firmly believe that the structure of the food we eat is the single most important factor determining the health outcomes of our diet. By understanding the relationship between food structure and health, we can understand how foods can be designed to control the rate and extent of digestion and delivery of beneficial compounds to the microbiota. Controlling the kinetics of digestion and fermentation can lead to positive health benefits such as improved glucose, lipid and insulin response and promotion of satiety. These will ultimately lead to improved outcomes in individuals in terms of obesity, type 2 diabetes and related metabolic conditions.
He has published over 135 papers (h-index = 40, average citations = 33 per paper) and presented approximately 15 invited lectures at international meetings. He is a member of the Food Group Committee of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and is on the editorial board of Food Hydrocolloids and Colloids and Interfaces. He is an Honorary Professor in the School of Pharmacy at the University of East Anglia.
Wilde, PJ, Mackie, AR, Husband, FA, Gunning, AP, and Morris, VJ, Proteins and emulsifiers at liquid interfaces. Advances in Colloid and Interface Science, (2004). 108, 63-71.
Proctor, GB, Hamdan, S, Carpenter, GH, and Wilde, P, A statherin and calcium enriched layer at the air interface of human parotid saliva. Biochemical Journal, (2005). 389, 111-116.
Wilde, PJ and Chu, BS, Interfacial & colloidal aspects of lipid digestion. Adv. Colloid Interface Sci. 2011, 165, 14-22.
Parker R, Rigby NM, Ridout MJ, Gunning AP and Wilde PJ. The adsorption–desorption behaviour and structure function relationships of bile salts. Soft Matter, 2014, 10, 6457-6466.
Buchweitz, M, Kroon PA, Rich, GT and Wilde PJ. Quercetin solubilisation in bile salts: A comparison with sodium dodecyl sulphate. Food Chemistry. 2016, 211, 356-364.
Speaker at the following Global Food Forums Events
Challenges & Solutions: An Update on Label-friendly Surfactants & Emulsifiers
Emulsions and foams often provide structure and texture, impart taste and flavor or deliver bioactive compounds to foods. Amphiphilic molecules in the form of surfactants, emulsifiers and polymers are used to create and stabilize emulsions and foams. Numerous synthetic components are effective at stabilizing foams and emulsions. However, the trend toward label-friendly ingredients has driven interest in alternative approaches using proteins, naturally occurring emulsifiers and enzymes that can alter the natural lipid composition of foods to improve their functional properties. This presentation will review the range of emerging approaches to replace synthetic surfactants and emulsifiers in foods, their advantages and disadvantages and their potential for use in clean label foods.
Answering the Challenge: Label-friendly Emulsifiers and Surfactants for Food Systems
Many foods are formed of complex, multiphase structures such as dispersions, emulsions and foams. Emulsions and foams often provide structure and texture, impart taste and flavor or deliver bioactive compounds. To create and stabilize emulsions and foams, amphiphilic molecules in the form of surfactants, emulsifiers and polymers are used. A wide range of synthetic or extracted surfactants and emulsifiers have been developed over the years that are highly effective at creating stable foams and emulsions. However, the move towards cleaner labels has driven alternative approaches using proteins and other naturally occurring emulsifiers. Although proteins are not always as effective at creating foams and emulsions, they have other advantages. The use of enzymes to alter the natural lipid composition of foods and to improve their functional properties is an innovative, emerging tactic. A range of approaches currently being developed to replace surfactants and emulsifiers in foods, their advantages and disadvantages and their potential for use in clean label foods will be reviewed.